Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. 100
    The Norwegian maestro of disco, Hans-Peter Lindstrøm, teams up again with Christabelle (also known as Solale), and together they craft a masterful 10-song pop album.
  2. 95
    the Norwegian superproducer has been intermittently working with Christabelle since 2001 and all the years of back-and-forth were clearly worth it, as Real Life is simply stellar.
  3. The result is an album that squeezes a lot of air and atmosphere into songs that take no more time to make their point than Nu Shooz’ “I Can’t Wait.”
  4. Real Life Is No Cool is essentially all pop structures. It's maybe an accident that Lindstrøm and Christabelle's project so successfully feels like something hip and modern, like a photograph hung in a museum or cut from an obscure magazine that's suddenly become part of the landscape.
  5. Just about all of the new tracks would make fine A-sides, though they all fall into place as part of a flowing album.
  6. Once the shock of the new dissipates, what’s left is an impeccably assembled record worth indulging with the vigor that any of Lindstrom’s Christabelle-less work deserves.
  7. Real Life Is No Cool isn't just the achingly stylish and neatly accessible dance record to end all that, it also constitutes a fresh new take on the strand of retro-futurism that Lindstrøm helped create.
  8. There are impressive experimental excursions here, too: take Never Say Never, a whirl of backwards beats, twinkling harps and discombobulated vocals that’s both utterly disorientating and quite delightful.
  9. It turns out that while he’s been working on these absurdly long stoner dance tracks, he’s also been holed up in the studio with vocalist Christabelle working on this amazing album of more concise material.
  10. 80
    Real Life... is a triumphant return to the dancefloor. [Feb 2010, p.90]
  11. We have instead been blessed with an embraceable record from a contemporary dance music auteur and a partner who proves a skilful wingwoman.
  12. The result potently distils what makes him a great producer--as demonstrated by "Music in My Mind" and "So Much Fun," his take on 1980s funk-pop is exhilaratingly woozy, psychedelic and strange, never sliding into retro pastiche.
  13. Real Life Is No Cool inhabits a place where pop, electro, house, funk and disco collide, and the results are accomplished, stylish and, above all, fun.
  14. Real Life Is No Cool is a creamy, luscious sequence of classically structured pop-funk tracks glittering with Lindstrøm's trademark brand of space dust. Formally, the work here is light years away from the proggier, more sprawling galaxies he's recently navigated; Christabelle's languid yet charismatic, definitive yet hazy vocals are given properly emphatic productions.
  15. Real Life is No Cool is a tasteful take on the edgier side of ’80s pop radio--like the lucid oddities of Kate Bush—but with a dash of classic soul.
  16. 70
    The Moroder-indebted tunes on Real Life are more pop-friendly, but the chopped-up vocal samples on opener "Looking for What" are guaranteed to meld minds, while airy centerpiece "Keep It Up" defies gravity via handclaps and delicately chiming bells.
  17. It can feel facile, this emulation. In a longer form Lindstrom lets his allusions bubble up as if from the depths of a lake. Here they skitter across the surface.
  18. Front-to-back, Real Life Is No Cool does exactly what it set out to do and no more: be a collection of dance pop tunes so solid it feels like they’ve always been there.
  19. That’s not to say it’s not a very promising album taken as a whole, and its clear that the two work well together. A little more consistency in their focus and less pointlessly meandering distraction could really see them do justice to their own talents and produce something truly classic.
  20. It's best when it's at its most trippy. Less effectove are the parping brass and chukka-chukka guitars on "Baby Can't Stop." Happily there's enough of the former to outweigh the latter. [Mar 2010, p.105]
  21. Nothing on Real Life is No Cool is unlistenable, but the songs are devoid of much of the industrious guidance of previous Lindstrom work.
  22. Real Life Is No Cool plays more like a tug-of-war as singer and producer struggle to find harmony between two disparate sounds. [Holiday 2009, p.81]

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